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Monday, February 23, 2009
Updated: February 18, 5:53 PM ET
2009 Grapefruit League Overview

ESPN SportsTravel

2009 Spring Training Guide - Cactus League

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• Photo gallery: Southern exposure – images of spring | Cactus League Overview

Shorts and T-shirts are required. Sunscreen, too. Expect temps in the 70s and 80s and the humidity to be quite reasonable. Hey, the Grapefruit League is definitely a good thing.

Also See

Looking for more Spring Training coverage? Here are some options:

• 2009 Cactus League Overview
• Spring's best ballpark quirks
• The best places to be in spring

More photos:
• Eccentricities of spring
• Spring into action

It's such a good thing that some teams have been making the pilgrimage to the land of flamingos, blue-haired retirees and early-bird dinner specials for decades. The Detroit Tigers, for example, have made their Southern home in Lakeland, Fla., since 1934.

And that's just fine with the fans of these squads, all of which hail from headquarters in the East and Midwest.

See below for information on each of the Grapefruit facilities. Spring training games begin Feb. 25 and conclude April 4. We provide you with details to make your spring training foray as special as possible, from updating you on team and facility facts to providing game schedules and ticket information. (Click here for the 2009 Cactus League Overview.)


Atlanta Braves
Lake Buena Vista (since 1997)
Schedule

Home Field
Champion Stadium (Seating capacity: 9,500)
700 S. Victory Lane
Lake Buena Vista, FL 34747

Directions (from Orlando)
Take Interstate 4 West to Highway 192.
Follow signs toward Disney World.
Stadium is on the campus of Disney's Wide World of Sports.

Tickets
Price range: $15 to $32
Buy online or from StubHub! or call 407-839-3900

Did You Know?
The Braves' move to the Disney campus in 1997 ended a 35-year association with West Palm Beach. The Wide World of Sports complex also is the training camp home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Champion Stadium was known by several former names, including The Ballpark and Cracker Jack Park.


Baltimore Orioles
Sarasota (since 2010)
Schedule

Home Field
Ed Smith Stadium (7,500)
2700 12th St.
Sarasota, FL 34237
941-954-4101

Directions (from Tampa)
Go south on I-75 to University Parkway.
Go west on University to Tuttle.
Turn left and proceed south on Tuttle.
Stadium is at intersection of 12th and Tuttle.

Tickets
Price range: $10 to $22 (kids' tickets start at $5)
Buy online or from StubHub! or call 954-523-3309

Did You Know?
Before they took flight and moved to the Gulf Coast this year, the O's had been training in Fort Lauderdale since 1996.


Boston Red Sox
Fort Myers (since 1993)
Schedule

Home Field
City of Palms Park (7,576)
2201 Edison Ave.
Fort Myers, FL 33901
239-334-4700

Directions (from the north)
Take I-75 South to Exit 138 (SR 82, MLK Jr. Boulevard)
Make a right (west) off the exit onto MLK Jr. Boulevard and follow 4 miles to Fowler Street.
Turn left onto Fowler and follow a half-mile to Edison Avenue.
Turn right onto Edison and follow 200 yards to City of Palms Park.

Directions (from the south)
Take I-75 North to Exit 138 (SR 82, MLK Jr. Boulevard)
Make a left (west) off the exit onto MLK Jr. Boulevard and follow 4 miles to Fowler Street.
Turn left onto Fowler and follow a half-mile to Edison Avenue.
Turn right onto Edison and follow 200 yards to City of Palms Park.

Tickets
Price range: $10 to $46
Buy online or from StubHub! or call 239-334-4700

Did You Know?
Boston's arrival in Fort Myers in 1993 marked a seismic shift in spring locales, uprooting the Sox from Winter Haven, where they were a spring fixture from 1966 to '92. Built in 1992, the complex was designed by HOK Sport, the architect responsible for many of baseball's newer venues.


Detroit Tigers
Lakeland (since 1934)
Schedule

Home Field
Joker Marchant Stadium (9,000)
2301 Lakeland Hills Blvd.
Lakeland, FL 33805
863-686-8075

Directions (from I-4)
Take Exit 33 off I-4 onto Highway 33 South.
Tiger Town and the ballpark are approximately 2 miles on the left.

Tickets
Price range: $8 to $21
Buy online or from StubHub! or call 866-668-4437

Did You Know?
The Tigers have played spring ball in Lakeland since 1934. The relationship -- interrupted only by World War II -- is the longest continuous agreement between a team and a spring training host city. Joker Marchant Stadium, the team's home since 1966, is built on the site of a World War II flight school.


Florida Marlins
Jupiter (since 2003)
Schedule

Home Field
Roger Dean Stadium (7,000)
4751 Main St.
Jupiter, FL 33458
561-775-1818

Directions (from I-95)
Exit at Donald Ross Road (Exit 83) and travel east one mile to Central Boulevard.
At the light, make a left and follow Central to Frederick Small.
Make a left onto Frederick Small, and the stadium will be on your left.

Tickets
Price range: $8 to $31
Buy online or from StubHub! or call 561-966-3309 (individual) or 561-775-1818 (season)

Did You Know?
The Marlins and Cardinals are cohabitants of Roger Dean Stadium, named for a West Palm Beach car dealer. The Marlins have had three spring training homes during their brief existence.


Houston Astros
Kissimmee (since 1985)
Schedule

Home Field
Osceola County Stadium (5,300)
631 Heritage Park Way
Kissimmee, FL 34744
321-697-3200

Directions (from Orlando)
Take Florida Turnpike south to Exit 244, turn right onto U.S. 192.
Drive 1 mile to Bill Beck Boulevard, turn right.
Take Bill Beck Boulevard for 7/10 of a mile, turn left into parking lot.

Tickets
Price range: $10 to $25
Buy online or from StubHub! or call 407-839-3900

Did You Know?
For 20 years before the Astros' move to Kissimmee, they trained in Cocoa Beach. Osceola County Stadium, the smallest in the Grapefruit League, underwent an $18 million renovation before the 2003 season. The Astros originally played spring ball in Apache Junction, Ariz., in 1962-63.


Minnesota Twins
Fort Myers (since 1991)
Schedule

Home Field
Hammond Stadium (8,100)
14100 Six Mile Cypress Parkway
Fort Myers, FL 33912
239-768-4200

Directions (from I-75)
Take Exit 131 (Daniels Road).
Travel west 2 miles to Six Mile Cypress Parkway.
Travel south for a half-mile; complex is on the right.

Tickets
Price range: $12 to $38
Buy online or from StubHub! or call 800-338-9467

Did You Know?
The Twins made Orlando their spring home from 1936 to 1990, except during World War II. Fort Myers was a good-luck charm; the Twins won the World Series after the first spring training in their current home. Fort Myers boasts the winter estates of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford; both are open for tours.


New York Mets
Port St. Lucie (since 1988)
Schedule

Home Field
Tradition Field (7,000)
525 N.W. Peacock Blvd.
Port St. Lucie, FL 34986
772-871-2100

Directions (from I-95)
Take Exit 121 (Old 63-C)/St. Lucie West Boulevard.
Go east and make a left (north) on Peacock Boulevard.
Stadium is 1 mile ahead on right.

Tickets
Price range: $6 to $25
Buy online or from StubHub! or call 772-871-2115

Did You Know?
The Mets moved to Port St. Lucie on the Treasure Coast from St. Petersburg in 1988, where they had trained since 1962.


New York Yankees
Tampa (since 1996)
Schedule

Home Field
George M. Steinbrenner Field (11,076)
One Steinbrenner Drive
Tampa, FL 33614
813-875-7753

Directions (from points north and south)
Take I-275 to Route 92 exit (Dale Mabry North).
Stadium is on the corner of Dale Mabry and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

Directions (from Tampa airport)
Proceed out of the airport exit to Spruce Street and head east.
Drive approximately 2 miles, make a left on North Dale Mabry (92).
After about a mile, George M. Steinbrenner Field will be on your left.

Tickets
Price range: $17 to $31
Buy online or from StubHub! or call the George M. Steinbrenner Field ticket office at 813-879-2244 or Ticketmaster at 813-287-8844.

Did You Know?
George M. Steinbrenner Field carries the same outfield dimensions as Yankee Stadium. Outside the stadium, there is a tribute to Yankees with retired numbers.


Philadelphia Phillies
Clearwater (since 1947)
Schedule

Home Field
Bright House Field (8,800)
601 Old Coachman Road
Clearwater, FL 33765
727-441-9941

Directions (from Tampa)
Take Highway 60 West (Courtney Campbell Causeway).
Cross over Highway 19 and go to the next stoplight (Old Coachman Road).
Turn right (north) at Old Coachman Road.
Go north through the Drew Street intersection.
Stadium will be on the right.

Tickets
Price range: $11 to $30
Buy online or from StubHub! or call 727-467-4457

Did You Know?
The Phillies have called Clearwater home since 1947; only the Tigers have inhabited their Grapefruit League home longer. A tiki bar and a Philly cheesesteak concession are among the amenities at Bright House Field.


Pittsburgh Pirates
Bradenton (since 1969)
Schedule

Home Field
McKechnie Field (6,602)
1611 Ninth St. West
Bradenton, FL 34205
941-748-4610

Directions (from St. Petersburg)
Drive over Skyway Bridge to Exit 5 (19 South).
Continue on 41 South (Bradenton/Sarasota).
Make a right turn onto 17th Avenue West and continue to McKechnie Field.

Directions (from north or south on I-75)
Exit I-75 at Route 64 (Exit 220 if traveling south; Exit 220B if traveling north).
Drive west on Route 64 to Ninth Street West.
Turn left to stadium.

Tickets
Price range: $10 to $19
Buy online or from StubHub! or call 800-955-5566

Did You Know?
1971 World Series hero Steve Blass signed his first contract with the team in 1960 and has been involved with the franchise ever since; Blass now is in his 25th year as a broadcaster. Before the Pirates installed stadium lights in 2008, they were the only team in the Grapefruit League, or Cactus League, to play all their home games in the afternoon.


St. Louis Cardinals
Jupiter (since 1998)
Schedule

Home Field
Roger Dean Stadium (7,000)
4751 Main St.
Jupiter, FL 33458
561-775-1818

Directions (from I-95)
Exit at Donald Ross Road (Exit 83) and travel east one mile to Central Boulevard.
At the light, make a left and follow Central to Frederick Small.
Make a left onto Frederick Small, and the stadium will be on your left.

Tickets
Price range: $8 to $31
Buy online or from StubHub! or call 561-966-3309

Did You Know?
The Cardinals first came to Florida in 1914. In 1938, they began a 60-year association with St. Petersburg that concluded with the construction of Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter in 1998.


Tampa Bay Rays
Port Charlotte (since 2009)
Schedule

Home Field
Charlotte Sports Park (6,823)
2300 El Jobean Road
Port Charlotte, FL 33948
941-235-5025

Directions (from I-75)
Exit the interstate at Toledo Blade Road (Exit 179) and go west.
Proceed for approx 6½ miles to El Jobean Road (SR 776) and turn right.
Charlotte Sports Park will be on the left in approximately 2 miles.

Tickets
Price range: $9 to $23
Buy online or from StubHub! or call 888-326-7297

Did You Know?
Charlotte Sports Park underwent a $27 million renovation in 2008 to prepare for the arrival of the Rays. The park was the spring home of the Texas Rangers from 1986 to 2002.


Toronto Blue Jays
Dunedin (since 1977)
Schedule

Home Field
Dunedin Stadium (6,106)
373 Douglas Ave. (at Beltrees Street)
Dunedin, FL 34698
727-733-9302

Directions (from Tampa)
Take State Road 60 across Tampa Bay.
Turn right on McMullen Booth Road.
Turn left on Sunset Point Road and cross U.S. 19.
Turn right on Douglas Avenue. Parking is at the second stoplight.

Tickets
Price range: $13 to $25
Buy online or from StubHub! or call 888-525-5297 or 727-733-0429

Did You Know?
Dunedin has been the Blue Jays' home for the entirety of the team's existence. In homage to their home country, the Blue Jays play both national anthems before each game and offer Labatt Blue beer.


Washington Nationals
Viera (since 2003)
Schedule

Home Field
Space Coast Stadium (8,100)
5800 Stadium Parkway
Viera, FL 32940

Directions (from Daytona Beach)
Exit I-95 at Exit 195 (cloverleaf).
Turn left (west) on Stadium Parkway.
Space Coast Stadium is 2 miles ahead on the right.

Tickets
Price range: $8 to $24
Buy online or from StubHub! or call 888-632-6287

Did You Know?
Space Coast Stadium was built for the Marlins in 1994, but the Marlins and Expos switched venues in 2003. When Jeffrey Loria sold the Expos and bought the Marlins, he retained the spring rights to Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter. The park takes its name in homage to nearby NASA; the space theme is evident throughout.

• Photo gallery: Southern exposure – Images of spring